Page:The fables of Aesop, as first printed by William Caxton in 1484, with those of Avian, Alfonso and Poggio. Vol 1.djvu/19

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PREFACE.


AESOP'S Fables are the first book one reads, or at least the first tales one hears. It seems, therefore, appropriate to reproduce them in the first form in which they appeared among English books, translated and printed by William Caxton 'at Westmynster in thabbey ' during the spring of 1484, eight years before the discovery of America. Richard Crookback had just doffed Buckingham's head, and was passing through his first and only Parliament the most intelligent set of laws that any English King had added to the Statute Book. Among these was one which excepted foreign printers from the restrictions that were put upon aliens (1 Ric. III.